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Monthly Archives January 2013

La guerre des mondes dans Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 n’est pas avare en informations ces derniers temps. Alors que les weekends de bêta viennent de se terminer, NCSoft publie une nouvelle vidéo présentant un tout nouveau mode de jeu nommé Monde contre Monde.

Ce sont deux des game-designers, à savoir Matt Witter et Mike Ferguson qui commentent ce mode McM, avec des sous-titres pour aider les moins bilingues d’entre nous. Ce mode de jeu propose donc à trois équipes de s’affronter dans des batailles gigantesques s’étalant sur plusieurs jours. Chaque joueur pourra se rendre utile auprès de son équipe en aidant à la capture d’objectifs dans des cartes aussi grandes que le serveurs les accueillant.

Pour rappel, les joueurs PC pourront profiter de Guild Wars 2 à partir du 28 aout.

· Voir la vidéo
· Forum Guild Wars 2



Apple expands iTunes Store in Asian region

Apple recently announced that they are expanding the iTunes Store in the Asian region to include Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

In addition to the millions of international music artists in the iTunes Store, Apple will add on talents from the Asian region to include, but not limited to, Chay Chou, Girls Generation, and Andy Lau. Apple claims that their DRM-free music format is top notch, and that customers will receive audio files that are “virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings.” Music won’t be the only thing available to the expanded Asian market.

Apple will continue to distribute various shows and movies from various studios such as Sony, Fox, and Paramount.

Owners of devices such as the iPad, iPhone, and iPod in the Asian region will now also have access to the Apple Store’s 650,000 apps.

Customers will also have free access to the iTunes cloud which stores their purchased media files for backup or additional synching. Users who wish to purchase iTunes Match to add additional features such as storing an entire music library for access at any time may also do so.

iTunes 10.6.3 will be available for download on Windows or Mac for free and a valid credit card with a billing address is required for purchasing contents on iTunes.

Press Release:

HONG KONG—June 27, 2012—Apple® today announced the launch of the iTunes Store® in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and nine additional countries in Asia featuring an incredible selection of local and international music from all the major labels and thousands of independent labels. The iTunes Store features local artists including Jay Chou, Girls Generation and Andy Lau, international artists including ADELE, The Beatles and Jason Mraz, and world-renowned classical musicians including Lang Lang, Yo Yo Ma and Yuja Wang. Customers can choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download on the iTunes Store.

Apple is bringing the iTunes Store to music fans in Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Customers can also rent or purchase movies from the iTunes Store, with many available in stunning HD, from major studios including 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures. The iTunes Store joins the revolutionary App Store™ which offers more than 650,000 apps to consumers in 155 countries.

The iTunes Store is the best way for iPhone®, iPad®, iPod®, Mac® and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. All music on the iTunes Store comes in iTunes Plus®, Apple’s DRM-free format with high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings.

iTunes® in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices. In addition, music not purchased from the iTunes Store can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match?, a new service that stores your entire music library in iCloud® for access at any time, from any iOS device. iTunes Match is available for purchase in the new countries added today.

Pricing & Availability
iTunes 10.6.3 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download from apple.com/asia/itunes. iTunes Store purchases require a valid credit card with a billing address in country.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Press Contacts:
Christine Monaghan
Apple
cmonaghan@apple.com
+1 (408) 974-8850

Fiona Martin
Apple
fmartin@apple.com
+61 02 8987 8230



Activision confirms Angry Birds HD for consoles

Bird-flinging pig-squashing action is coming to consoles with the release of Angry Birds HD, according to the games developers.

In an unusual move, Activision plans to release the casual game for consoles in full high-definition, with more details only weeks away."Well have some news for you in about two weeks," Activision told The Escapist. "Wait until you see Angry Birds on consoles in HD."It is not clear what consoles we can expect the game on and if it will be a download-only title or something that finds its way onto store shelves.Angry Birds might be good fun and extremely popular, but its probably one of the last games we would think of that would benefit from the high-definition treatment. Cartoon 2D graphics just tend not to look noticeably different with a higher resolution. The short-sighted among us might benefit from the larger displays on a TV screen, but we could just as easily hold our smartphones and tablets closer to our faces for the same effect.Casual mobile gaming like Angry Birds is typically seen as a threat to the console market, but if it can actually tap into the latter and help it grow, perhaps with some unique gameplay features (Wii U motion-controlled bird-catapulting, anyone?), then it might just be more of an asset than a threat.Source: The Escapist



comix month, take iii jeff lemire’s “the underwater welder”

Remember back in the late ’90s/early 2000s when it seemed that every self-respecting “underground” cartoonist had figured out that the best way to pay the bills between doing the creator-owned stuff they actually?cared about was to write monthly series for Marvel or DC? It was all the rage there for awhile, with talents as diverse as Jon Lewis, Dylan Horrocks, Terry LaBan, etc. churning out superhero garbage while still managing to have just enough spare time to devote to the kind of work they really wanted to be doing all the time.

Well, apparently that well has more or less dried up now, as the only guy still operating that was is Canadian cartoonist Jeff Lemire, best known for the superb Essex County?, who’s writing?Animal Man and a couple other books for DC on the side when he’s not working on his creator-owned Vertigo series?Sweet Tooth? and his “major projects” such as his new 224-page graphic novel from Top Shelf Productions,?The Underwater Welder. Apparently this book was a couple years in the making and a definite labor of love, and while it’s far from a flawless work by any means, Lemire’s devotion to it clearly shows.

Our story here revolves around one Jack Joseph, a thirty-something deep-sea welder attached to an oil rig off the coast of Nova Scotia. It’s an unusual way to make a living, that’s for sure, but it sort of runs in the Joseph family blood, apparently, as his father was a freelance scuba diver, as well as being a raging alcoholic and general fuck-up. Jack still worships his memory, though (he disappeared under the murky depths some years ago), and even seems to have inherited some of his less admirable traits — which is not to say that he’s a hard-core booze hound or anything like that, but he seems to have picked up the old man’s intrinsic fear of commitment. Jack’s wife, you see, is pregnant with their first child, and for reasons known only to him, our ostensible “hero” seems to be pulling further and further away from the Mrs. and his soon-to-be-born son or daughter the closer she gets to the big day.

Then, one day while welding ‘neath the waves, Jack notices a shiny object glinting at him from the ocean floor (is it really called a floor? And if so, why?), goes down to have a closer look — and is catapulted into a?Twilight Zone-type world of memories both real and false, and a future that may or may not be. It’s part Rod Serling, part Charles Dickens, all served up with a healthy dose of contemporary family angst, and while it all unfolds rather predictably, and never achieves the weighty sense of?gravitas that Lemire is actually, and quite obviously, ?hoping for (Alan Moore and Oscar Zarate tread on somewhat similar thematic matter in the criminally underrated?A Small Killing, for example, and did a much better job of it), there’s still no denying that this is, in its best moments, a powerfully understated book that explores issues of childhood pain and loss and the desperate desires of new and prospective parents not to repeat their own folks’ mistakes all wrapped up in a pleasantly-enough-executed, quasi- surrealist package.

Lemire has a well-established “scratchy linework” style that suits the material here quite nicely, and his underwater scenes, achieved (I’m assuming) by employing an old-school inkwash technique of some sort, are a particular standout element in what is, on the whole, a really well-drawn book. His script is pretty economical in terms of word count but might be stretched a bit thin at 224 pages, although it does maintain a fairly organic flow throughout that tightening things up may have compromised a bit, so I won’t complain much as far as that goes. And yeah, there’s no doubt that we’re firmly and fully in “labor of love” territory here from the outset, as it’s obvious our guy Jeff has paid attention to pretty much every detail along the way as his little melodrama unfolds. Atmosphere is key here, of course, and Lemire delivers that in spades, and his time-period transitions feel quite natural and almost rhythmic, even if he occasionally resorts to some of the more hackneyed elements of the “Serling style” in order to frame them. All in all, my complaints about this book are few, far between, and pretty small, given the overall scope of the work.

Still, while?The Underwater Welder has an undeniably satisfying conclusion, and one that feels entirely appropriate to the story itself, I can’t say that this is absolute “rush out and buy it” material. Maybe it’s because you can pretty much only see one possible ending the whole way through, maybe it’s because the whole “fantasy” element is frankly completely unnecessary to the type of story that Lemire is telling here, maybe it’s because the book’s principal female characters, namely Jack’s wife and his mother, feel less like actual people and more like ciphers for drawing out and/or expounding upon the the protagonist’s various unresolved neuroses,?or maybe it’s just because, as I mentioned before, others have mined similar ground more successfully, but all in all this feels like a book that would have been absolutely?revolutionary 20 years ago, but is just — and maybe the use of the word “just” if unfair here, but bear with me, if you would, please — a really solid, nicely-done graphic novel in this day and age. I was glad I read it. I’m pleased to have it on my shelf, available for re-exploration anytime I choose. But it doesn’t feel like one of the really?important comics works of the past several years, and Lemire seems to be talented enough to have a book like that in him. This isn’t?quite it — but it’s close enough to make for a very impressive read in and of itself, and honestly, that probably?should be enough. You get the sense that Jeff Lemire is knocking on the door of genuine greatness, and I’m hopeful that his next project will be the one that throws that door wide open, in which case?The Underwater Welder will be remembered as the book where he got the last few things he needed to worked out before stepping up to the final rung on the creative ladder; a necessary precursor to something more, something larger, something undeniable, that seems to be right within his grasp — he just needs to seize it , trust in his abilities, and not let go. While this isn’t a book that shows Jeff Lemire making a quantum leap forward creatively, it does show that he’s probably ready to do so, and that alone certainly makes it worth a look, as well as your time.



64-bit Windows XP amp; Server 2003 Enter RTM

Microsoft has released a number of 64-bit operating systems to manufacturing, including Windows XP Professional, in time for a scheduled release in late April. Microsoft also released Windows Server 2003 Server Pack 1, the basis for the 64-bit updates. Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64 Edition, and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition all had been released to manufacturing. Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003 is primarily designed as a security update, although the code base is the foundation for the new releases. In the coming weeks Microsoft will start accepting software applications submissions for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition as part of the “Designed for Windows” logo program.



AMD Previews Pacifica Virtualization Technology

AMD today for the first time publicly disclosed key elements of its“Pacifica” virtualization technology, at the AMD Reviewer’s Day in Austin,Texas. “Pacifica” will help extend AMD’s technology leadership when it brings tomarket technology that is designed to enhance 64-bit server virtualizationtechnologies for x86-based servers, desktops and mobile computers.

“AMD has taken an inclusive approach to Pacifica by previewing it to thevirtualization ISV and analyst community. This ongoing collaboration, includingtoday’s disclosure, will ultimately provide ‘Pacifica’ users with an even richerfeature set and a higher performance model for hosting hypervisor-basedvirtualization solutions,” said Marty Seyer, vice president and general managerof the Microprocessor Business Unit, Computation Products Group, AMD. “Byenhancing virtualization at the processor level, and building on the success ofindustry-leading AMD64 technology, we believe that ‘Pacifica’ is vital to thedevelopment of best-in-class virtualization solutions.”

“Pacifica” will extend AMD64 technology with Direct Connect Architecture toenhance the virtualization experience by introducing a new model and featuresinto the processor and memory controller. Designed to enhance and extendtraditional software-only based virtualization approaches, these new featureswill help reduce complexity and increase security of new virtualizationsolutions, while protecting IT investments through backward compatibility withexisting virtualization software.

By enabling a platform to efficiently run multiple operating systems andapplications in independent partitions, essentially allowing one compute systemto function as multiple “virtual” systems, “Pacifica” is designed to providefoundation technologies to deliver IT resource utilization advantages throughserver consolidation, legacy migration and increased security. Information about“Pacifica” is immediately available at www.amd.com/enterprise.

AMD’s commitment to provide the industry with superior technology to enablevirtualization solutions is demonstrated through strategic alliances withpartners including Microsoft, VMware and XenSource.

“Businesses and consumers have rapidly adopted Microsoft’s Virtual PC 2004 andVirtual Server 2005 for scenarios ranging from development and test simulationto production server consolidation,” said Rob Short, corporate vice president,Windows® Division at Microsoft Corp. “We are excited about AMD’s focus onenabling technologies such as ‘Pacifica,’ and are working with them and otherpartners to ensure our software virtualization solutions for the Windowsplatform will leverage these underlying hardware advancements. Processorvirtualization extensions are an important building block for future virtualmachine solutions on the Windows platform.”

“Leveraging seven years of technology innovation and leadership invirtualization, VMware today delivers production-ready virtual infrastructureproducts for AMD Opteron™ processor-based servers and AMD Athlon™ 64processor-based desktops,” said Paul Chan, vice president of Research andDevelopment, VMware. “We’re pleased to continue collaborating with AMD onvirtualization technologies such as ‘Pacifica’ to optimize future AMD64technologies for our products and further expand the deployment ofvirtualization in the data center.”

Today’s disclosure about “Pacifica” precedes the general availability of the“Pacifica” specification, planned for April, 2005. “Pacifica,” which willprovide users with hardware support to better enhance the flexibility andperformance of current solutions, is planned to be available in both client andserver processors from AMD in the first half of 2006. Feature enhancements arealso planned for future single-core and dual-core AMD64 processors to furtherleverage the performance of 64-bit virtualization software.

See also AMD DesktopCPUs Roadmap Update



Albatron PC6800GS

Albatron Technology recently announced the new PC6800GS VGA card featuring anNVIDIA® GeForceTM 6 series GPU (NV42). Albatron has come out with thishigh-performer, which will match the capabilities of similar high-performancecards but will launch with a very affordable price.

With the PC6800GS, you are looking at fairly serious gaming equipment. Theengine core is rated at a speedy 425 MHz and contains 12 pipelines. This cardalso has a very attractive memory configuration using 256 MB of DDR3 memory witha 256-bit memory bus. The memory can also clock up to an impressive 1 GHz.

The PC6800GS comes packed with NVIDIA’s most durable lineup of graphicsapplications including a 3rd generation CineFXTM graphics engine that providesawesome 3D gaming. Also included are IntellisampleTM 3.0 and UltrashadowTM IItechnologies that render the most realistic images of the most difficultgraphics applications.

The PC6800GS contains two independent 400 MHz RAMDACs with resolutions up to2048 x 1536x 32 bpp @ 85 Hz. This goes hand-in-hand with the card’s nViewTM dualdisplay technology and dual DVI connectors. The PC6800GS also supports TV-OUTand VIVO interfaces.

Serious gamers looking for a price-friendly VGA upgrade need to put the PC6800GSon top of their lists. With powerful memory configurations and NVIDIA’s provengraphics capabilities, the PC6800GS is ready to quench your thirst for incredi-graphicalperformance.



Adobe No more Flash-to-iPhone development

Those who had been anxiously waiting for how the spat between Adobe and Apple would play out in the hopes that Apple might just cut Adobe some slack with its tough and uncompromising stance on Flash and 3rd-party compilers can now prepare themselves for a massive disappointment, because it seems that Adobe has had enough of playing hide-and-seek with loopholes in the developer licence agreement, choosing instead to bail out of the iPhone market.

But Adobe has also made it clear that while Flash for the iPhone is officially dead as a doornail, it still intends to push its Flash player onto other mobile devices, and the new mobile OS it intends to focus its efforts on will, not surprisingly, be Google’s own Android OS.

According to a blog post made by Mike Chambers, Flash platform product manager for Adobe, CS5 will still ship with the iPhone compiler, but warned that the tool is no longer under active development.

Still, he insisted that the effort Adobe spent in trying to bring Flash to the iPhone proves that there was no compelling technical reason for Flash not to work in Apple’s smartphone, and as a result, the team has managed to implement various features “such as hardware acceleration and Ahead of Time compilation) which he believes will be instrumental to improving the user experience of Flash on other platforms like Google’s Android, adding that they are currently working to bring both Flash Player 10.1 and AIR over to Android with promising results.

Of particular note is the hardware acceleration feature mentioned by Chambers; if one would recall, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had repeatedly claimed that Flash was a buggy piece of software that hogged CPU resources. While it may be true for OS X systems, it should be noted that Flash on Windows seldom suffered from extremely high CPU usage, and that was because Flash for Windows had the ability to make use of hardware acceleration. In contrast, it was said that Apple did not release the proper documentation for such a feature in OS X, thus forcing Flash to resort to CPU cycles.

Either way, if Adobe is really serious about bringing Flash to Android devices, it will have its work cut out for it; while the technical advantages of Android over Apple’s iPhone OS may be apparent, the main complaint most developers had about Google’s platform is that it was too fragmented, with too many different handset makers offering different capabilities, resulting in application incompatibilities between various handsets. And Flash is not exempted from this situation, as it is only available for a few Android devices.

Still, the more flexible nature of Google’s development policies for Android might work in Adobe’s favor: if Adobe is able to leverage on the experience gained while attempting to port Flash over to the iPhone and push out a decent Flash player for Android that is capable of hardware-acceleration, lightweight and efficient, that might be all that is needed for Android to to take a huge bite out of Apple’s pie with the premise of having a truly complete web browsing experience on a mobile device.

Meanwhile, Google has embraced Adobe’s decision to work with them, with VP of engineering Andy Rubin claiming that “partnerships have been at the very heart of Android”.

“Google believes that developers should have their choice of tools and technologies to create applications…our engineering teams have been working closely to bring both AIR and Flash Player to Google’s mobile operating system and devices. The Android platform is enjoying great adoption, and we expect our work with Adobe will help that growth continue,” he said in a blog post.

Source: Mike Chambers’ blog, Adobe Blogs via PC World



975X Boards Not Ready For Conroe Yet

We tested some of the 975X boards out there but none can support Conroe sofar and not even a BIOS update can fix it. Apparently there are some hardwaremodifications that need to be done to the board before Conroe can run on it.That means there will be new revisions of 975X boards coming out in the next fewmonths to support Conroe. More pics and discusshere.



AMD launches Radeon HD 6990M

There are no major surprises with the Radeon HD 6990M. It features a full Barts core with 1120 SP and 56 TMU enabled (as opposed to 960 SP for the HD 6970M). The clock speed is up to 715 MHz as well. The memory bandwidth continues to be the same. However, the HD 6990M feature 2GB GDDR5, doubling up on the HD 6970M.

AMDs internal benchmarks show the Radeon HD 6990M performing 10% faster than the GTX 580M. Of course, these internal benchmarks are often cherry picked, and we will have to wait for independent reviews to confirm AMDs "Worlds Fastest Notebook GPU" claim. This is a direct reprise for the HD 6870 vs. GTX 560 Ti battle in the desktop arena. Like the desktop battle, the AMD product is based on a much smaller die with much lesser power consumption. Crucially, it is worth noting that the HD 6990M is clocked closer to the HD 6870 than the GTX 580M is to the GTX 560 Ti – so all indications suggest HD 6990M will indeed suprass the GTX 580M, likely with a lower pricing.

The HD 6990M will soon be found in high-end laptops by OEMs such as Alienware, Clevo and Eurocom. Some uber enthusiast laptops may also offer 2x HD 6990M in CrossFire.

For more details, visit AMDs HD 6990M page.